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Help! I Can’t Afford the Family Gift Drawing

Rachel Cruze

Money Management for Parents

Q: My family does a gift drawing every Christmas, but I just can’t afford it this year. What should I do?

Rachel: Great question. First off, you don’t need to take part in the drawing if you can’t afford to buy gifts. Don’t give in to pressure.

All you really need to do is quietly approach the organizer and tell them it’s just not doable for you this year. This is family, so hopefully they will understand. If they don’t get it, then it’s still your job to stand strong.

You’re not responsible for their reactions. This is about making a plan with your money and setting yourself up for financial success. If you don’t have a gift-giving budget this year because you’re working your plan, then your family will hopefully respect that decision.

I think it’s great that you are thinking about priorities and what’s important. A year from now, no one will even remember that you didn’t participate in the drawing.

Get in financial shape in 2014, and you’ll be right back in the drawing next Christmas.

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Rachel Cruze

Growing up as Dave Ramsey's kid, Rachel Cruze learned the basic principles of money at an early age. She travels across the country teaching those same principles, in a personal and passionate message of money and hope, to teens and young adults. To find out more about Rachel, visit or follow her on Twitter at @RachelCruze.